22 March 2011

Decentralised ‘Yes to AV’ campaigning moves into action

By Rupert Read

Living in Norwich, I am all-too-aware of what a bad system ‘First past the post’ is. For the MP elected in Norwich South last year won just 29% of the votes cast.

The great thing about Alternative Vote (AV) is that it ensures that in virtually every seat the winner will have the majority of the votes cast behind him or her.

To help explain and communicate this and more, in visual user-friendly ways, a new ‘Yes to AV’ site has just been launched.

This is a new, independent site with loads of Yes2AV e-postcards to choose from. You can send the appropriate postcard to the appropriate person you know, in a bid to enthuse them about voting Yes on May 5.

It’s a sort of http://www.mydavidcameron.com/ with the work already done for you…

The site is the product of Matt Wootton, with editorial help from myself; it is a 'Green Words Workshop' production. (See our joint blog on reframing and values, of which this new site is an offshoot).

We think that this is the kind of thing that could potentially be transformative, over the next several weeks. The Yes campaign needs independent support; it needs a bit of razzmatazz and innovation; it needs to go viral.

Go to http://www.yes.greenwordsworkshop.org/ and help this to happen.

Lastly: Matt and I don’t think what we’ve done is particularly ground-breaking, yet (and here’s the important thing) neither the Yes nor the No campaigns appear to have much like it. The No camp has postcard-like adverts on their front page (compared to the Yes site’s uncommunicative photos of people holding a placard saying “YES”). But they don’t allow them to be sent.

This is not just a technical issue, it’s a political issue, one of messaging, and one of public engagement. It’s not just that emailable postcards don’t exist. It’s not just that more tools for online engagement don’t exist. It’s that many of the political messages themselves don’t exist, because the campaigns are not creating them.

That’s where we’ve come in . . .

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